This is a question we all must answer, particularly when we’ve been diagnosed with something that is making us unwell. Yet despite elaborate diagnoses, many doctors have so narrowed their specialties that they sometimes overlook the obvious. They are inundated with new information every day. They are swamped with the most current discoveries in their field. They are seduced by the latest and greatest medicine or diagnostic test. They’re too often preoccupied with recording information on their laptops and have little time to address their patients’ often cogent insights (really?) and frequently intelligent questions (believe it or not!).
My blood pressure has been borderline high for a number of years. It runs in my family. I tried to avoid the path of medication. I tried exercise and diet, but it was a losing battle when my stress level went up the past couple of years in my transition into a new life. I knew I had to do something because higher B/P can do damage to a lot of internal systems without knowing it until it’s too late.
My internist tried a calcium blocker; first one, then another, then a third which kind of did the trick but left me with seriously swollen ankles and feet. I couldn’t walk right, my shoes didn’t fit. I felt lousy.
Dissatisfied with this internist, who typified the doctor I just described in my first paragraph, I changed back to one I had a couple of years ago (insurance had forced me to drop him for another at the time). That was the first smart thing I did. He prescribed a diuretic both to lower B/P and hopefully to quiet the swelling, which it did, but only partially. I still felt lousy, light-headed, and old.
I put up with it for a couple of weeks thinking that my body would adjust to the medicine. Then my sister yelled at me (lovingly) about telling the doctor NOW to change meds and get me off this coaster ride. She told me of her own pharmacological experiences and to stop thinking of myself as a science experiment. She urged me to listen to the way I felt. Good advice. Now I’m on a different class of meds that actually seem to be working without side-effects. And the swelling is gone.
The lesson for me: use my analytical brain less and listen more to how I actually feel. And don’t be afraid to email my doctor and tell him to change medications NOW! I need to trust more in myself concerning my health and wellbeing and less on objective science. When I’m my primary advocate and trust doctors only as much as they deserve it, then I can restore a measure of balance in my life and living. And I believe this principle applies to all areas of my life. How about you?
It is my belief that we advocate for our own healthcare – providers consult with us on how to best to take care of ourselves. Ultimately, we call the shots. It is essential, at least from my perspective, that we listen to what our own bodies are needing and speak-up about its needs. Providers will respect your involvement. If we don’t advocate on our own behalf, no one else will.
As a sane and healthy man, my reply has to be yes and now.
sorry to sound wishy-washy, but each of the few MDs, DDSs, etc. I have used I have “interviewed as they interviewed me before using their servic — many have offered referals to techbicians, whom I also “interview” prior to submittig to their service.
I have been pleased to all whom I have “used” professionall;.
Thanks to both Rob and Roy. Your insights and common-sense approach will hopefully give courage to others to be their own best care-givers!
Yes we need to b advocates for ourselves. Yes we need to be informed. Much info is on the internet these days. We may need to dig deep and compare several sources.
Most of all recognize that our bodies are complex organisms and pretty good at maintaining stasis if we provide proper resources.
Remember that medical doctors are humans licensed to “practice”. A dr. Willing to admit they dont know and listen to a patient’s thoughts is much more likely to provide the care a person needs. Beware the pill-pushers!
I agree wholeheartedly with Roy’s comments about mutual “interviews”. It is after all a “partnership” this healing process. I don’t think the old deifying of medical practitioners has done us too many favors. It puts an unrealistic responsibility on them, when they are after all human. And in some cases can give them delusions of grandeur if they buy into the deifying too heavily. And it makes us “the customer” relinquish our responsibility in the partnership, which is to evaluate by our own individual yardstick if the recommended treatment meets our unique and individual requirements. We often place ALL the blame on them then, when we are not being our own health advocates.
There remains so much unknown when it comes to the medical field. Dx’s who treat with drugs simply attempt to mask the underlying issues. Chronic pain is treated by way of shutting off neuro-transmitters to reduce the pain, rather than addressing the reason(s) for the pain. High blood pressure is no different. There is a direct correlation to the levels of sodium and potassium in or systems and high BP. You take the meds, stay away from sodium and experience increases in the levels of BP. The point is in the balance. Salt IS a much needed element in our systems as is potassium. Talk to a naturapath who is willing to test for such levels and advise accordingly
No I don’t trust a Doctor but I take what he says in consideration. The only Doctor that I trust is God or the Holy Spirit because I know I’m told through my intuition is the Truth.